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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Student-made map marks best bike routes

Student-made map marks best bike routes

Distracted pedestrians and zooming cars can be hazards for UA bikers, but one group has created a detailed bike map in an effort to ease their treks across campus.

Four students in the School of Geography and Development created a detailed map utilizing video and GPS technology to help mark better routes for campus bikers.   

Group leader Melanie Meyers Colavito, a geology graduate student, said three out of the four members of her group were avid cyclers. The map was made as part of a project for a geovisualization class and the group’s passion for biking led them to create the map.

Google Maps “”Bike There”” function released Tucson biking information in March 2010. It takes into account starting points and destinations and advises on routes to take based on time estimates in a similar fashion to Google Maps or MapQuest.

Meyers Colavito said the “”Bike There”” feature for the UA campus was pretty sparse and was missing some of the top bike paths through campus. That’s when her group decided to take matters into their own hands.

“”We looked at what Google already had up and thought we could improve upon it,”” Meyers Colavito said.

In order to make the map, the students utilized CatEye Inou GPS camera, which can be mounted to bicycle handlebars and shoot video and photographs. The program is GPS enabled and can determine where the bicyclist is using satellite technology.

The students were able to upload their videos to YouTube. These uploaded videos and photos were embedded onto the map to mark important biking spots around campus.

The group also got feedback from other students by handing out a survey to assess their thoughts on how usable and effective the map is.

Dan Majewski, a group member studying regional development, said he believes the map can create a more bike-friendly atmosphere throughout campus.

“”It can get more people out there on bikes being active and can help get less people driving and using up these big parking garages,”” Majewski said.

Meyers Colavito thinks the map will help get more people active in what she calls a very bike-friendly area of Tucson.

“”A lot of people ride around the university,”” she said, “”and the more you see people riding, the more encouraging it is to get other people out to ride.””

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